Chapter and verse on the best Christmas reads
Books make perfect presents for Christmas. They can take us back to the past and into the future, transport us to new worlds, teach us things, make us laugh and cry – and they’re extremely easy to wrap!
Here are Waterstones’ recommendations for the best reads this festive season.
1. Snow – John Banville, £7.49: Darkly evocative and fuelled by Banville’s wintry wit, Snow explores the religious tensions in mid-20th century Ireland through a masterfully nuanced take on a classic whodunit.
2. 50 Words for Snow – Nancy Campbell, £8.49: From Japanese ‘snow women’ to Icelandic ‘dog's paws’, Campbell provides a wonderful compendium of worldwide monikers for the white stuff along with the fascinating stories behind them in this exquisite volume.
3. The Promise – Damon Galgut, £16.99: A masterpiece of a family in crisis, this powerful book charts the crash and burn of a white South African family living on a farm outside Pretoria.
4. The Manning Tree Witches – A K Blakemore, £7.49: This visceral and gripping debut novel takes the reader into the midst of the Puritan regime and harrowing witch trials of 17th-century England.
5. The Good Bear – Sarah Lean and Fiona Woodcock, £6.99: This beautifully illustrated winter story for children is set in a fairy-tale Norwegian landscape and centres on a lost young girl determined to save a bear in the woods, whatever the cost.